August 29 06

A Reluctant Stool Inspector

“How did it go at Medical?” I asked Midnight.
“Apparently,” Midnight said, “I’ve got three stomach ulcers, and the biopsy shows cancer in my upper intestine. The nurse said I need to quit smokin’. And the doctor wants me to look at my stool, at my bowel movements. If they’re real dark, then there’s blood in it and he wants a sample. I’m supposed to pick my shit outta the commode and bring it up there to Medical.”
“You’d better do what they say if you’ve got cancer. That’s serious.”
“Nope. I drop one, flush one. I ain’t lookin’ at my shit. To be honest, I don’t wanna know if I’m bleedin’ outta my rectum. I’ve got enough problems.”
“But you could die. It’s in your best interest to do as they say.”
“I’m not gonna put shit in my hand, put it in a bag, and bring it up to them.”
“You should at least look and see if there’s blood in it.”
“I don’t wanna know if there’s blood in it!”
“Cancer’s serious business. You need to determine the extent of it in your body.”
“I ain’t ever looked at my shit. Maybe tomorrow I will. Knowing my luck, I’ll see that it’s full of dark blood, and I’ll hafta siphon it out for 'em.”
“Won’t they let you do it at Medical? Then giving a sample would be easier.”
“No. I’ve gotta do it up here. I told 'em I go in the mornin’s, and they said to just put the stool in a plastic bag and take it on up to Medical.”
“They expect you to carry a bag of it all the way across the unit to Medical?”
“Yeah. Do you know how embarrassing it would be to bring a bag of shit up to the control booth and say to the guard, ‘I gotta get this bag of shit up to Medical right away.’ They’re likely to put me on report: at 0800 hours inmate E. brought a bag of shit to us.”
“I don't doubt it. I almost got put on report for telling a guard that my scrotum was bleeding.”
“And they’ll charge me three dollars for takin’ the bag of shit to 'em. They’re quacked, fuckin’ quacked.”
“But still, with your health at stake, you’ve got no choice.”
“OK. I’ve gotta deal for you: tomorrow, I’ll take a peak and if there’s blood in there, if you want, you can fish some out and take it down to them.”
“If I’d just been diagnosed with cancer, I’d be fishing it out in a heartbeat.”

Midnight didn't inspect his stool. He's more concerned about them telling him to stop smoking than the cancer diagnosis. Does anyone have medical advice for Midnight?

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Copyright © 2005-2006 Shaun P. Attwood


Anonymous said...

A better question would be what reason would inmate E have to want to
look in the pan? What is the benefit?
Thane Eichenauer
Tempe, Arizona

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